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Determined Jeff halts Logansport
December 10, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
A little over a year ago, Lafayette Jeff lost a one-point heartbreaker to Hoosier Crossroads Conference rival Noblesville.
That turned out to be the Bronchos’ first of four straight losses by a combined eight points.
Coming off Friday’s last-second overtime loss to Westfield, Jeff didn’t want to start a similar skid. The Bronchos held off a second-half charge from Logansport in a 51-41 victory at Crawley Center on Saturday.
Jeff (3-3) avenged its loss to Logansport (4-2) in last season’s Kokomo Sectional semifinals.
“We really wanted it so bad,” said Jeff senior forward Lucas Wallace, whose 13 points led the Bronchos’ balanced scoring output. “I think we deserved it, and it feels really good right now.”
Wallace scored nine of his points, including a rare 3-pointer, in the second quarter as Jeff built a 23-16 halftime lead. That forced the Berries to assign their top player, senior guard Antonio Penny, to defend Wallace.
Wallace had scored 31 total points before Saturday’s game, and no more than nine in one game.
“Lucas was a hoss,” said Jeff senior wing Peter Ripke, who collected 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. “He took it to the hoop, he hit that 3 ... that was awesome. He was just a beast on the boards. He did everything for us. He’s a team leader.”
Logansport cut the lead to one point on two occasions in the third quarter, but Quarin Hood and Ripke answered with 3s. The Berries took a 36-35 lead on Andrew Wamsley’s layup off an inbounds play with 3:47 left. Hood, who scored 12 points, hit a 3 at the other end to put the Bronchos on top for good.
With the game in the balance, Lafayette Jeff made its big plays under the basket. Ripke dished to Tyler Buchanan for consecutive and-one layups, then swooped in from the free throw line to tip in another basket and put the Bronchos up 45-36 with 1:42 left.
“It was just a play here or a play there that could have turned the tide today. It just didn’t quite happen,” Logansport coach Mark Victor said.
Buchanan contributed nine points and 11 rebounds.
Penny finished with 27 points on 10 of 25 shooting. He contributed 10 points and four rebounds as the Berries surged back in the second quarter.
The Bronchos were content to let Penny shoot from the perimeter rather than drive and create. The rest of Logansport’s team shot 20 percent (5 of 25) from the floor, and Jeff won the rebound battle 42-33.
“We wanted to play off, because he’s a better penetrator and passer than he is shooter,” Jeff coach Scott Radeker said. “He hit some good, tough shots early. We knew he was going to come to play tonight; they had a rough game last night.
“... When Penny gave the ball up we tried to make him work to get it back. I thought our kids executed the game plan very well.”